The first step you have to do when you're relocating is to register your address in Berlin. According to the law, you have to do it in 14 days after arrival. Here're some questions from my clients and solutions from my experience.
This is the official page - https://service.berlin.de/dienstleistung/120686/
Where can I register my address in Berlin?
Local authorities such as Bürgeramt or Rathaus register, re-register and de-register people in Germany.
Should I book an appointment?
Yes, definitely. Go here and pick the date and the time. Don't panic if there are no time slots within your first weeks in Berlin. Refresh the page every 5 minutes, check it early in the morning (6-7 am) and you can catch some.
Dial 115. This is the central number for all city services. You can be lucky to get an appointment by phone if you can communicate in German.
How long can it take me in the Bürgeramt?
If you have an appointment, you can see a caseworker just on time. In most cases, you have to wait in the waiting area from 5 to 20 minutes. Though I had one appointment when we had to wait more than an hour! The procedure itself is very standard and usually takes 10-15 minutes per person.
Which Bürgeramt should I go to?
It doesn't matter. Go ahead and look for an online appointment all over Berlin "berlinweit suchen und buchen".
What paperwork do I need for this?
Anmeldeformular - registration form
Wohnungsgeberbestätigung - confirmation of your landlord
These are the documents for a single person or the one, who is settling in Berlin alone.
Should I bring more papers with me?
Yes! It's always better to have one extra paper with you just in case. If you're a family person, have
Beiblatt, when your family will come later;
Marriage certificate, translated and authorized (a copy);
Kid's birth certificate, translated and authorized (a copy).
My wife/husband and a child are coming to me next month. Can I register them now?
No, it's impossible. Registration means that a person has a permanent residency in Berlin and is physically here. Moreover, every person should appear in the Bürgeramt themselves, though there can be some exceptions, see below.
However, you should still inform the authorities about them in an extra form - Beiblatt.
My family is here with me. Should we go to Bürgeramt altogether?
Not really, you can have the power of attorney from them. Sometimes it's enough when you have translated and authorized marriage and birth certificates and all the passports in the original with you.
Should I book an appointment for each member of my family?
Actually, they accept only one person per appointment. In a family case, it's possible to get registered all together at once, but it will be cute if you book two side-by-side appointments. They'll appreciate it and be friendly to you.
Why do they need my marriage certificate and my kid's birth certificate?
Anmeldung, that is registration, collects all initial information of a newcomer. They put this info in the central system, which distributes data to the German post, tax office, and police. For example, this is highly important for the tax office, as according to the provided info they are going to give you a tax class. A tax class depends on whether you're married or not and influences your net salary.
Can I bring my apartment contract or invoice from Airbnb instead of the landlord's confirmation?
No, you cannot. The main thing they look at is the landlord's confirmation, aka Wohnungsgeberbestätigung.
Feeling unsure? Book me as a translator for your Anmeldung Termin - registration appointment! Ask for more - "Anmeldung all-inclusive":
searching for and booking an appointment
filling out the forms
All the answers are based on the official web page and my own experience. I'm not
responsible for the result of your registration appointment.